Computer aided design and analysis of cold formed sections
The work reported in this thesis is concerned with the improvement and expansion of the assistance given to the designer by the computer in the design of cold formed sections. The main contributions have been in four areas, which have consequently led to the fifth, the development of a methodology to optimise designs. This methodology can be considered an `Expert Design System' for cold formed sections. A different method of determining section properties of profiles was introduced, using the properties of line and circular elements. Graphics were introduced to show the outline of the profile on screen. The analysis of beam loading has been expanded to beam loading conditions where the number of supports, point loads, and uniform distributive loads can be specified by the designer. The profile can then be checked for suitability for the specified type of loading. Artificial Intelligence concepts have been introduced to give the designer decision support from the computer, in combination with the computer aided design facilities. The more complex decision support was adopted through the use of production rules. All the support was based on the British standards. A method has been introduced, by which the appropriate use of stiffeners can be determined and consequently designed by the designer. Finally, the methodology by which the designer is given assistance from the computer, without constraining the designer, was developed. This methodology gives advice to the designer on possible methods of improving the design, but allows the designer to reject that option, and analyse the profile accordingly. The methodology enables optimisation to be achieved by the designer, designing variety of profiles for a particular loading, and determining which one is best suited.